Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding EC for Purushothapatnam Lift Irrigation Scheme, East Godavari District, Andhra Pradesh, 15/07/2019

  • 15/07/2019

Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of Jammula Choudharaiah & Others Vs Union of India & Others dated 15/07/2019 regarding Environment Clearance (EC) for Purushothapatnam Lift Irrigation Scheme undertaken by the State of Andhra Pradesh for Drawl and Lifting of water from River Godavari near Purushothapatnam Village in Seethanagaram (M), East Godavari District, Andhra Pradesh.

State of Andhra Pradesh in its affidavit has taken a stand that Purushothapatnam Lift Irrigation Scheme is only a drinking water scheme for which no Environment Clearance is necessary. The Ministry of Water Resources as the financer of the project has stated that Purushothapatnam Lift Irrigation Scheme is not connected in any manner with the Polavaram scheme. According to the Ministry, the cost of the Purushothapatnam Lift Irrigation Scheme has not been included in the DPR of Polavaram Irrigation Project and the Purushothapatnam Lift Irrigation Scheme has never been accepted by the Advisory Committee of the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation on irrigation, flood control and Multi-purpose project. But Dr. S. Kerketta, Director (IA) (River Valley and Thermal Sectors), MoEF & CC, appearing before the Tribunal submits that, as per report received by him, Purushothapatnam Lift Irrigation Scheme is an expansion of the Polavaram Project Scheme and reiterated what had been stated by the Andhra Pradesh.

NGT said that even if it is considered as a part of the Polavaram Scheme, Detailed Project Report (DPR) subsequently prepared in the year 2016 for the Purushothapatnam Lift Irrigation Scheme clearly reflects that it is a distinct project. Also, if it is an expansion of the Polavaram Project which appears to be the contention of Dr. Kerketta, even then under the EIA Notification, 2016, prior EC is necessary to be obtained following the entire procedure prescribed under the said notification. In this case obviously it has not been done which thus brings it clearly within the "mischief of the violation notification dated 14th March, 2017."

NGT in the order of July 15, 2019 noted that the project would require prior Environment Clearance which has not been obtained and Dr. S. Kerketta has asked for time for verification. Tribunal grants one weeks time, making it clear that the case shall be heard and disposed of on the next date (August 7, 2019) even if such an affidavit is not filed.

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